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Monday, October 18, 2021

Picnic Day celebrated around the world

Are you studying abroad spring quarter? Or are you living in another state or country? Through the UC Davis Outreach and International Programs (UOIP), current students and alumni can celebrate and relive Picnic Day outside of the city of Davis.

In the past, up to 20 international alumni networks have participated in the annual Picnic Day celebration. This year, the student-run open house event, held on April 16, includes a video that will be sent to all 30 networks, in honor of the theme “Rewind.”

For the 97th anniversary, the Cal Aggie Alumni Association encourages alumni to host a free event to celebrate the spirit of Picnic Day. Jennifer Wong, a development analyst for the University Outreach and International Programs, said alumni networks often host their event in a park and have a barbeque.

“A lot of alumni find each other around the world. We can always connect [international alumni] with another alumni network to join in and connect with people,” Wong said.

Some alumni networks, such as ones in the Philippines and Germany, celebrate with a potluck dinner or a brunch.

Megan Hanson, a senior communication major and communications director for the Picnic Day committee, said while studying abroad in Spain, she celebrated Picnic Day with other UC Davis students. She said the event is a core part of the Davis experience.

“It’s indicative of how important Picnic Day is to students of UC Davis. It is something we hold dearly and clearly it’s had an impact on alumni,” Hanson said.

Vanny Albert, junior international relations major and student worker for the UOIP, said the response from alumni in past years has been positive, especially when alumni are able to connect with current UC Davis students.

“[Alumni] really enjoy when they can get together with the study abroad [students] and just remember Picnic Day and to hash out their Davis memories,” Albert said.

Alumni Relations and the UOIP are accepting photos and video or audio memories for the video that will show UC Davis alumni and their favorite memories. The video will also show alumni changes to the ASUCD Coffee House and the Student Health and Wellness Center, along with how certain buildings have not changed throughout the years, such as Wellman and Olson Halls. Wong said the event and video connects alumni back to the school.

“It’s a good way for them to remember why they even joined the alumni network and keep a connection to UC Davis. It’s a fun way to talk about new buildings and recognition and just share some Aggie pride together,” Wong said.

Throughout the year and around the world, the alumni net gather for many reasons. According to Wong, the Tokyo network in Japan meets for an annual reunion. In addition, when senior administrators are traveling, networks often have a dinner and hold an event for the administrators.

Overall, Picnic Day is a memorable event remembered and honored by thousands of alumni to date. Hanson said she thinks the way alumni gather around the world is a great way to pay homage to the event.

“I think that it is a way of reliving really good experiences and a way of keeping that memory alive. It’s really an exciting day,” Hanson said.

To be included in the video, alumni can submit their stories at ucdavisuoip@gmail.com.

GRACE BENEFIELD can be reached at features@theaggie.org.

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